Dee walked to work. She liked the idea of using herself for transportation, instead of sitting while someone else took her. While Dee walked she liked to watch the people do their things and feel the energy in the world around her and make it a part of herself. After walking to work she was very awake and active. When Dee took the subway she would start to doze off.
Dee lived on the East side. She had an apartment on the third floor of a building overlooking Lexington Ave., between 73rd and 74th. It would seem like a very loud place to live, to someone who didn't live there, but Dee didn't notice. It was like another wall of privacy. It is a very expensive neighborhood. Telephone solicitors think of it as prime territory, the best place to call to make money. it was also the only zip code in New York where the phone company doesn't require a deposit to hook up a phone, because if you can afford to live there you can pay off phone bills. She was very lucky to get a her studio apartment for $850 a month.
She worked in a tall fat building at 51st and 3rd Ave,. She was a personal. secretary in a large room with many other secretaries who preferred to be called assistants and their bosses. Most of her job was in forms of manual labor: typing, copying, collating, answering phones. Sometimes Dee wouldn't need her mind all day, she could have gotten by on automatic.
The people she worked with placed many demands on her; other bosses could demand coffee or deli deliveries from her, other secretaries would ask her for help regularly with their work. It was not uncommon for someone to give her a project just before five o'clock that had to be done before the next morning.
Her boss liked to dump tension on her:
"This coffee is too fucking hot."
"You probably won't finish in time."
"I didn't get that deal because of you."
Dee decided she needed a day off. A Wednesday so it would seem like too short weeks in a row. She didn't want to pressure herself into doing something so she consciously made no plans for that day. Dee knew she wouldn't just sit at home, but she could if she wanted to.
She did the procedures for taking the day off. She filled out a form telling the truth about the vacation time coming to her, and had it OK'd two weeks in advance.
The Tuesday before her vacation Dee was given a lot of work to do, so she didn't take a lunch to make sure it would all be finished that day. At five thirty when she was almost finished her boss gave her another job too do, it was big, and it had to be done by Thursday, and it involved machines she didn't keep at her apartment.
Dee was starting to lose it as she told him the next day was her day off.
"It will have to be canceled." he said, toying with her, coolly, as if he didn't do it on purpose.
"this is more important."
"I didn't take a lunch today." She told him almost calmly with noticeable signs of emotion. That night she didn't stop for dinner like she did after a hard day. There didn't seem like there was any room for food in her with all the tensions she had received.
She wandered through the streets. They seemed narrower than usual, Huge buildings seemed to hang over her, keeping her in the darkness. Every footstep hitting the hard cement caused tremors through her entire body and made it ache.
She walked into the subway facing the wrong direction to go home. Her mind wasn't headed anywhere. But as she boarded a train her body was headed down town. She got off the train at fourteenth St.. Union square. She wasn't very familiar with the station.
She started to wander through corridors. The heat and the tension from her day had put her senses out of commission. She was wet cement and if she stood still she would stay there for ever. Her mind was thinking of so many things at one time she couldn't keep track. Someone called her name, she almost walked into someone, she head music, she saw a pigeon poking through garbage, she saw her boss's face, coworkers taunting her, she heard music turn to noise, she saw a man drop a folded folding table on the pigeon, she heard noise turn to music, the man picked up the table, she was afraid to look at the mangled bird, she tripped on something, she looked and were the bird should have been and there was only a wadded newspaper, she looked in someone's eyes and she quickly looked away and she saw the bird pecking through garbage.
she realized she had been standing whole time. As she saw a young man sitting on a step ladder playing guitar and singing.
As people brushed by her she stood staring at the young man. She felt her senses become very acute. Her body relaxed. The music filled her mind. She felt very glad. There was a warmth in her heart and it spread across her chest. time moved slow and she liked it that way. She didn't want that moment to ever end. Her body relaxed more and she felt weight draining out of her body through her hands, falling away. The ground seemed to push her upward. This made her body feel even more comfortable.
Her sudden lightness allowed her body to sway and move to the music.
Her head was very clear as she walked above ground to a fancy restaurant she really liked that she hadn't been to in years.